HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover men's basketball team will look to continue its strong start to Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play with contests against Earlham and Anderson this week.
SETTING THE SCENE: The Panthers will travel to Earlham at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 9, to close out their current five-game road stretch. Hanover will then return home for the first time since early-December to host Anderson at 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 12, inside Collier Arena.
- Hanover comes into the week with a 9-4 overall record and a 4-2 HCAC mark, which has them in a tie for third place in the league standings and one game back from Rose-Hulman and Transylvania for first place. The Blue and Red have won four of their first six conference games for the fourth straight season, as their overall and conference marks are identical to what they were in 2017-18 at this point, a campaign that saw the program win the regular season and tournament conference titles en route to a national tournament appearance.
- Senior Cam Fails (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored 50 points in two games last week, improving his career scoring total to 1,473. The senior is 19 points away from moving into 12th on the program's all-time scoring list and can crack the top 10 with 53 more points.
- Fails is having a career season, averaging 21.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per contest. The guard has scored 18-plus points in each of the last 12 games, a stretch that has featured nine games with 20 or more points.
- Junior Kevin Williams (Edinburgh, Ind.) is coming off the best performance of his collegiate career, as he tallied 22 points and 10 rebounds in an 88-69 road win at Manchester last Saturday. Williams made all eight of his field goal attempts and all six free throw tries, as he posted career scoring and rebounding highs in his first double-double. The post player also leads the HCAC in season field goal percentage at .768.
- With games of 15 and 17 points last week, sophomore Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.) has scored in double figures in eight straight outings. Hibbard is second on the team in scoring, 11.4 points per game, while also pacing the Panthers in rebounds (6.9/game) and assists (3.2/game).
- The Panthers have traditionally been a strong team at home. In the comforts of Collier Arena, HC has a .794 winning percentage since the building's inception during the 1995-96 season. This year, the Blue and Red are 4-1 at home, winning their last three outings by an average margin of 10 points per game.
- Eighty has been the Panthers' magic number this season. Hanover is averaging 80.6 points per game in their nine wins this season. Four times HC has topped the 80-point mark in victories. On the other hand, the Blue and Red are averaging just 57.3 points per game in their four losses.
PANHTERS IN THE RANKINGS:
TEAM CATEGORY – STATISTIC (HCAC, NCAA RANKING)
Field Goal Percentage Defense – 41.2 (1, 77)
Personal Fouls Per Game – 15.3 (3, 38)
Scoring Defense – 63.5 (1, 16)
Scoring Margin – +9.8 (1, 59)
Turnovers Per Game – 12.0 (2, 40)
INDIVIDUAL CATEGORY – STATISTIC (HCAC, NCAA RANKING)
Free Throw Attempts – 110 (1, 10)
Free Throws Made – 85 (1, 13)
Points Per Game – 21.4 (1, 38)
Total Points – 278 (1, 42)
Assist Turnover Ratio – 1.91 (3, 115)
Defensive Rebounds Per Game – 5.85 (2, 146)
Free Throw Attempts – 67 (5, 146)
Total 3-point Fields Made – 31 (2, 172)
SERIES HISTORY: Hanover and Earlham will be meeting for the 122nd time on Wednesday, as the Panthers hold an 81-40 edge in the all-time series. The Blue and Red have won 12 straight, tying the longest streak in series history. Hanover won 12 straight from 1976-1982 and have not loss in the current stretch since Feb. 4, 2012. The Panthers have also not lost a conference game at Earlham since the Quakers joined the HCAC in 2010-11.
Hanover and Anderson are set for their 158th all-time meeting this weekend, as two wins last year gives HC a 100-57 edge in the series. The Panthers have won four straight against the Ravens, with the last loss coming in a 106-100, triple overtime game back on January 23, 2016. Since 2010, the Blue and Red are 7-1 at home, with the lone loss being the overtime setback.
SCOUTING EARLHAM: The Quakers enter the week with a 3-10 overall mark and a 2-4 record in HCAC play. Earlham's four HCAC losses though have come to teams with at least a 4-2 record in conference play this season. Currently, EC is riding a four-game losing streak, which includes losses at Transylvania and Rose-Hulman last week. EARLHAM STATISTICS
SCOUTING ANDERSON: Despite a 5-8 overall record, Anderson is off to a 4-2 start in league play, as they sit in a three-way tie for third in the HCAC standings with Hanover and Bluffton. The Ravens have won three straight HCAC games heading into Wednesday's contest against Manchester. With conference play resuming last week, AU defeated Defiance and Bluffton at home. ANDERSON STATISTICS
UP NEXT: Hanover continues HCAC play next week by hosting Mt. St. Joseph and traveling to Franklin. The Panthers and Lions open the week at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16. Hanover will then trek up north for a 4 p.m. meeting with the Grizzlies on Saturday, Jan. 19.
Contact: Tyler Jester